Sen. Amy Klobuchar donned a hard hat for a tour of the concrete casting beds at Fabcon's manufacturing plant in Savage on Monday as part of her Made In America economic tour.

The visit is part of the senator's statewide campaign to call attention to the innovative technologies that sprout Minnesota jobs and enhance the state's competitive standing long term.

As chair of the Senate commerce subcommittee on competitiveness, innovation and export promotion, Klobuchar said she has been visiting plants in the last few months to highlight technologies that make Minnesota unique.

Fabcon has about 500 workers and manufactures the pre-cast building slabs used to construct many of the big-box retailers across the nation, including Home Depot.

The 40-year old company struggled but has reinvented itself after the recession slowed retail construction.The company, which has about $150 million in 2010 revenue, holds patents in plant automation systems, panel design and the equipment used to transport and install the massive panels on jobsites.

Employees work with hoses on casting trays that stretch nearly 700 feet long. The finished products are tall stabs of walls with exteriors that are often pebbly, brick-like or stone-like.

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